sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Bench

Who is your favorite prog?


Sen. (Crying) Chuck Schumer D-NY - Would like to be president, but in the past has lacked the capacity to excite anyone about anything.

former Vice Pres. (Groping) Joe Biden - Feels that it's his time to be president. Has no plan or platform other than to tell people that he's not President Trump. 

Rep. Nancy (Nasty) Pelosi D-CA - She's rich, and she's connected, but sadly the march of years and the cruel hand of father time has not been kind to her. On the stump her painful senility would become manifest, not that it matters to the hard core left.

Oprah - She has name recognition and is a friend of Barack and Michelle Obama. She likes to give away stuff to people and could self-finance a campaign. She's a self-made person who did it against huge opposition. You have to hand her that. 

Sen. Bernie (Feel the Burn) Sanders D-VT - Hillary stole the nomination for him and four years later in 2020 at age approaching 100, he still feels relevant. He's an old communist and friend of Russia, but that doesn't seem to matter to progressives. His upcoming campaign will be "free stuff to everyone who votes for me".

Sen. Corey Booker D-NJ - His platform is that he's angry and he's blacker than Barack. A vote for Corey would be a vote for social justice.

former SecState John (Woodenhead) Kerry - Yes, it's true that he lost 13 years ago to George W. Bush in the run for the presidency, but Kerry, the catsup heir-in-law, wants to sit in the big chair. Sure, he was a species of traitor during the Vietnam War years, but if you can forgive Hanoi Jane Fonda, you should be able to forgive Old Woodenhead.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY - She may be an outlier, but she's a woman and feels that's about all the credentials that she needs. She's willing to compromise herself and anything else to fulfill her ambitions, much like Hillary Clinton, her role model.

Sen. Elizabeth (Pocahantus) Warren D-MA - She no longer claims to be an Indian, but feels that some lies are ok, since that one landed her a job that paid $310,000 a year at Harvard for teaching one class as the universities only indigenous professor... She also loathes President Trump for mocking her mercilessly.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Turkish Invasion of Syria

Arrests in Turkey

Operation Olive Branch
Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, opposition party leader to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) is not criticizing the radical Muslims that have control of Turkey. One reason that Kılıçdaroğlu is being careful to not criticize the Operation is that critics get arrested.

The Interior Ministry said on Monday, the 29th, a total of 311 people had been held for “spreading terrorist propaganda” on social media in the last 10 days. Detainees have included politicians, journalists and activists. On the 28th, President Erdogan accused doctors who opposed the campaign of betrayal. 

Turkish authorities warned they would prosecute anyone opposing, criticizing or misrepresenting the incursion in northern Syria. The arrests show that the government is serious about suppressing criticism. CNN-TURK is the propaganda arm of the Erdogan government and continue to spew optimistic rhetoric about Turkish attacks on Kurds who did not attack or threaten Turkey -- referred to as "terrorists".

Operation Olive Branch (Turkish Invasion of Syrian Kurdistan)

Eleven days into the operation, Turkish forces and Turkish proxy forces have not captured Afrin. On the 29th, Syrian Kurdish fighters mounted a counter-attack to retake the hill between Afrin and Azaz that the Turks obtained disputed control over on Sunday. The Turks scheduled a press session with CNN-TURK to announce victory in regard taking the hill for the 29th, but canceled it because the hill was not secure.

The might of a Turkish armored division supported by militia, aircraft and artillery can't take a hill in Syria...how embarrassing. How pathetic. (The tankers know when they move their tanks forward, US made fire-and-forget missiles blow them up.)
The Syrian Kurds in Afrin are negotiating terms ceding control to Damascus. A spokesman told Izvestiya on the 29th, "We are ready to give up the city and the areas surrounding it, but we must receive guarantees that our interests will not suffer by doing so."
Since 22 January, the Russians have been advising the Syrian Kurds to transfer control of the city and its environs to Damascus in order to limit the Turkish invasion. Russia has been negotiating the terms of a compromise on behalf of the Syrian government.

The Syrian defense ministry spokesman said the Syrian army is prepared to march into Afrin if ordered. That would present the Turks with another complication to President Erdogan’s quick operation against "terrorists" in northern Syria.

The Russians are engaged in a balancing act with the Kurds, similar to the US, but on a smaller scale. The Russians oppose Kurdish autonomy, but also protected them the Kurds against the Turks during Operation Euphrates Shield. The Russian solution is for the Kurds to work with the Syrian government and under its protection, rather than try to negotiate a separate status.

Comment:

Killing Kurds for fun and profit (a Turkish national pastime that runs back well over a century) has proved to be much more difficult than the Turks anticipated in Syria primarily because the Kurds were trained and armed by the US. The US provided DEFENSIVE weapons that are effective against the combined arm mix that the Turks are throwing at them.


A Few Thoughts


It Will Take Time

The US Military should be second to none, but during the dark, dismal, years of Obamanation, we saw things slide. Social justice overtook war fighting as the military's priority and we focused a lot of energy on stopping global warming. Things weren't repaired and vital military missions kept our ships at sea far longer than they should have been. Retention of personnel became an issue when the focus shifted from welfare and morale to transgender matters.

Matthew 13:27-28
So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. 

Barack Obama spent the eight years of his presidency preaching that America was a nation in decline. He bowed and scraped and acted the fool. Nobody outside the US respected him and many in the US didn't either. The military's decline reflected the Obama Doctrine. 

Those sad and spare years have been replaced by the Trump Presidency and we have a president who is optimistic about what we can do - but he has said that he inherited a mess. Who can disagree with him. However it will take time to fix the damage that was done.

I had an opportunity to spend some time in Great Britain last August and see the decline (and rot) in Her Majesty's Navy. They've kept up special forces and the SAS is still capable, but it's a long road back. And with their emphasis on recruiting Muslims, transgenders and deviates into the ranks, it will tend to push the straight, normal folks out and their capacity to recruit will decline farther. The whole "it's good to be able to cry," campaign (we can't get the best so we'll settle for the rest) has never been a good idea when it comes to war fighting.

The US will not follow the path that the UK has set for itself thanks to a change in leadership. MAGA

October 2016 - YOU WERE THERE.

Please re-read candidate Trump's speech again:

[…] For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests they partner with, our campaign represents an existential threat. 

[…] This is not simply another 4-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not We The People reclaim control over our government. 

The political establishment that is trying everything to stop us, is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled this country dry. 

The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries throughout the world. Our just-announced jobs numbers are anemic, and our gross domestic product, or GDP, is barely above one percent. 

Workers in the United States, are making less than they were almost 20 years ago – and yet they are working harder. It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities. 

[…] This is a struggle for the survival of our nation. This election will determine whether we are a free nation, or whether we have only the illusion of Democracy but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system. This is not just conspiracy but reality, and you and I know it. 

[…] They control the Department of Justice, and they even clandestinely meet with the Attorney General of the United States – in the back of her airplane, while on the runway – for 39 minutes – to most likely discuss her reappointment in a Clinton Administration just prior to the Attorney General making a decision over whether or not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. 

Likewise, they have corrupted the Director of the FBI to the point at which stories are already saying the great men and women who work for the FBI are embarrassed and ashamed to what he’s done to one of our great institutions. Hillary Clinton is guilty of all of the things that Director Comey stated at his press conference and Congressional hearings, and far more – and yet he let her off the hook, while others lives are being destroyed for far less. 

This is a conspiracy against you, the American people. (link)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Korean Unification and Syrian Kurd Commentary

Korean Unification

The New York Times published a signed article on 28 January in which the author noted that South Korean agreement to North Korean participation in the Olympics and the several other manifestations of Korean unity have produced no groundswell of South Korean support for reunification or for President Moon.

South Korean President Moon is a strong supporter of activities that promote Korean unity. However, the Times reported the results of a recent poll that showed over 70% of South Koreans of all ages oppose the joint women’s hockey team. Over 80% of South Koreans in their 20s and 30s oppose the joint team and reunification with North Korea. They fear it will drag down the South.

It's a weird and goofy haircut
Prosperity in the South has reinforced the sense that life and culture in South Korea have diverged from North Korea and weakened the allure of a single Korean identity. The distance between South Korea and North Korea cannot be measured in miles any longer and continues to increase.

Kim Jong Un might not care about the attitudes of South Korean youths, but the emphasis on reunification, as manifest in last week’s call to all Koreans, indicates Kim and his advisors are unaware of the shift in South Korean attitudes. The North Koreans made a hard-sell pitch to an audience that mostly yawned at them.

He'll have to go back to the threats of artillery strikes and dropping nuclear weapons on his fellow Koreans...

Syrian Kurds vs Turkey Update (Operation Olive Branch)

Seven days into the campaign, Turkish soldiers and their Free Syrian Army rebel fighter allies have fought to gain footholds on the western, northern and eastern flanks of Afrin.

Weather hampered air support and heavy artillery fire killed one Kurdish civilian according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Turks (CNN-TURK) claimed to have seized high ground east of Afrin, but that is not confirmed.

On 28 January, Turkish President Erdogan said that Turkey would clean the entire Syrian border of People’s Protection Units (YPG). “Step by step, we will clean our entire border,” Erdogan said in a speech after the army said it had captured Jebel Bursaya. The high ground mentioned above, the hill  that lies between (and south of) Afrin and Azaz. While the Turks claim it as a victory, getting from the hill to Afrin is more difficult than simply saying you're going to do it.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdaq (threatening the USA) said, “Those who support the terrorist organization will become a target in this battle. The United States needs to review its solders and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground in such a way as to avoid a confrontation with Turkey.” 

With the backing of Russia, Iran and Syria, the Turk promise to  clash with US forces if any remain in Manbij.

Most of the information coming out of the war zone over the weekend was broadcast by CNN-Turk, which is a propaganda machine in Turkey for the Islamic Republic in the same way that CNN-USA is a propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. It's difficult to believe what they assert.

The Turkish advance has been hampered by the American armed Kurdish Resistance. They've lost people and equipment. The extent of those losses have yet to be reported in open source channels.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Weekend Update


In Korea

North Korea

In the DPRK missile and warhead production is proceeding according to plan to be able to blackmail the us with the threat of annihilation with a capacity to strike major cities with nuclear weapons. Their ambitions haven't changed. There's a lot of emphasis in Norkland to build workable submarine launched nuclear missiles. It solves that distance-in-flight metric. If you only have to lob a nuke 20 miles, the change of hitting the target improves. Oahu, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle become viable targets. Nork thinking and planning calls for the threat, after which the US will surrender and allow them to occupy South Korea.

It's not a bad plan. It would have worked if Obama had stayed in the White House longer. Alas, the two term limit didn't work out for the Norks -- so far.

These plans and intentions didn't keep the progressive icons in the US (NBC and CNN) from extolling the virtues of the Hermit Kingdom. It's strange that none of them re-interviewed Otto Warmbier's parents for a comment.

South Korea 

A senior official of the South Korean Ski Association said South Korea is willing to review the possibility of forming a joint cross-country skiing team with North Korea for the Winter Olympics.
"We could review a plan to form a joint team with athletes from the South and North for the team sprint competition in cross-country skiing," the official said.
Apparently the negative reaction to the formation of a joint women’s hockey team has not deterred some South Korean officials from considering another joint team. 

President Moon's popularity in South Korea plummeted since the joint-team concept (paid for by South Korea) was initiated for their women's ice hockey team.

Turks vs Kurds

It's Day 7 for Operation Olive Branch

CNN-Turk claimed that the Turks are winning.  There was a certain glee in the broadcast announcing a body count of Kurdish slain which include women and children, since it was from indiscriminate bombing of towns and Afrin from high altitude. Naturally the number killed reflect the law of averages and not exact numbers. (note the US progressive left isn't denouncing the high altitude indiscriminate bombing of cities)

Neither side announced changes in the security situation. Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim announced that 300 “terrorists have been killed.” He said that US cooperation with terrorist organizations is "self-humiliating" for the US. 

The fact that Turkish armor refuses to move into areas occupied by the Kurds is also "self-humiliating".

What about the Syrians?
An unidentified Syrian Kurdish authority asked the Damascus government to help defend Afrin. “While we insist that we will continue to defend Afrin against rabid external attacks and will confront the Turkish attempts at occupying Afrin, we invite the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign duties towards Afrin and to protect its borders with Turkey from attack.” 
The Syrian government has not responded to this request and probably will not. 

Two recent analyses posit that a four-way deal has been reached between Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkey to allow Turkey to bash the Syrian Kurds in exchange for ending the campaign to overthrow the Assad government and normalizing relations. 

This hypothesis has not been confirmed, but it provides an explanation for calling the operation “Olive Branch.” Turkish Prime Minister Yildrim recently stated that it was time to restore relations with Syria, despite years of Turkish denunciations of Syrian President Assad.

A four-party deal could have seriously negative implications for the US, if the Turks can defeat the Syrian Kurds. The implications could include pressuring US forces to leave Syria, which would undermine the US “block Iran” policy.

If this analysis is accurate, Syria will not rescue the Syrian Kurds, but will watch the action to see how the Turks perform. If the Syrian Kurds fight the Turks to a stalemate at Afrin, the four-party deal would fall apart. The Turks would be humiliated. Deal making would resume in earnest again. 

Turkish President Erdogan told US President Trump in a phone call on 24 January that US troops should withdraw from northern Syria's Manbij region, Turkey's foreign minister said on Thursday. The Turks also said they told the US that Kurdish People’s Protection Units and Democratic Union Party elements "must retreat to the east side of the Euphrates River as it was promised before." 

Turkish leaders are working to depict the US as unreliable. They have begun to insult the US leaders in public and to issue orders to them. President Erdogan’s office indicated that the US President’s office lied about the content of the Wednesday phone conversation between the presidents. 

Remnants of ISIS in Syria

Al Masdar News (AMN) published an article on 25 January that provides an update on concentrations of Islamic State fighters still active. According to AMN, up to 11,200 fighters continue to resist in six zones. The article provided no information about the sources for the estimates, but the locations correspond to sites of recent fighting. The map (right) is a rough approximation of the concentrations. 

The estimated number of fighters in each zone varies, as suggested by the different symbol sizes. Four contain at least 1,000 to 2,000. The largest concentration is in the middle Euphrates River Valley, just south east of Raqqa, with up to 4,000 fighters.

The AMN article is the only recent attempt to scale the continuing fight against the Islamic State. The map and the article are reminders that the reduction in fighting did not result from killing all the Islamic State fighters, but mostly from complicated temporary ceasefire and relocation agreements after tests of military strength. The fight has not ended, and each concentration represents unfinished business.

Another important point is that AMN’s sources report no Islamic State concentrations along the Turkish border. This might reflect an Arab bias. AMN is an Arab language and Arab-focused online news service. However, the Syrian Kurds fought fiercely to drive the Islamic State jihadists from their towns. The jihadists fled down the Euphrates River.

The map raises serious questions about Turkey’s daily claims of killing Islamic State fighters in Afrin and other Kurdish towns. Astonishingly, a Turkish official claimed on 24 January that the Syrian Kurdish militias are elements of the Islamic State. That mantra was quickly picked up by CNN-Turk. If any of this blog's readers are surprised by that, they need to bounce over to MSNBC or CNN for the latest attacks on President Trump.

Syria-UN

The UN effort isn't going anywhere. The moderate opposition is still making demands, and the Syrian government said the UN is disqualified from talking about the Syrian constitution.

The Russians invited the Syrian Kurds to attend. On 25 January, a Kurdish spokesman said that the Syrian Kurds declined to attend because of Turkey’s invasion of Syria.

This Russian initiative also has begun to look like a dead end.

Mali

More than 33 people have been killed in the central Malian region of Mopti, including 24 in a public service vehicle that hit a landmine.
"A public transport vehicle with commuters travelling from neighboring Burkina Faso for a weekly market in Boni ran over a landmine," the Maliweb news portal reported. The report further said that there were no survivors.
The other three attacks involved gunfights in the same general region on 24 and 25 January.

Four years after the French Operation Serval rescued Mali from a jihadist threat and despite a huge UN peacekeeping force, central, northern and eastern Mali remain unstable and dangerous. 

USA



Friday, January 26, 2018

FIB?

The drama at the FBI certainly is topping the headlines. With husbands sleeping with other men's wives and the other way around in the uber moralistic FBI, one would think that Soddom-on-the-Patomac might be a better way of thinking about it. 

Then again, the FBI tries to paint an image of itself that is not in keeping with a bunch of barely competent, scheming bureaucrats working on a coup d'etat. Maybe they need to commission a new TV show about how cool they are? No, not a reality TV show, some sort of Hollywood fantasy FBI production that makes them look honest and honorable.

Former director Mueller is trying to set up a situation where President Trump is found making inconsistent statements. Those statements would be construed to be 'obstruction of justice'. That would generate (Mueller/Comey and other conspirators hope) impeachment proceedings in Congress...maybe.

You'd think that members of the FBI would work to stop the disgrace, but that doesn't seem possible at this point, does it?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Operation Olive Branch - Continues

It's Day 5 of Operation Olive Branch in Syrian Kurdistan. There have been no significant changes in the security situation in northern Syria, but Turkey began carrying out its threat to attack Manbij.
Turkish President Erdogan said he plans to "foil games along our borders starting from Manbij." He said that Turkey would "clean our region from this trouble completely.”
The Turks promise the 'mother of all wars' in Manbij since they had their asses handed to them in Afrin. (yada-yada-yada)

Attacks on Manbij will be a test of intentions for all parties. The Syrian Kurds plan to resist the Turks there, they're well armed, supplied, and morale is high.

To break the Kurdish resistance, the Turkish aircraft must supply close support to the armor and fly low... or they need to send dismounted infantry forward and that means a LOT of dead Turks (and their Syrian allies). What to do?

Erdoğan underlined that the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, sources said.

The Turkish military said on Wednesday, the 24th, that 260 Kurdish and Islamic State (ISIL) fighters were killed. You can always tell when things aren't going well when they multiply the body count by 10x(+)

Turkish Modification - The political isolation and negative blowback have prompted the Turks to modify their propaganda about the targets of the Operation. Now the Turks are talking about killing Islamic State fighters. The Turks have always identified the Syrian Kurds as terrorists, but the Operation was aimed initially at Syrian supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

In the past two days, daily situation reports always include Islamic State targets struck and fighters killed. However, last March, Erdogan claimed that Operation Euphrates Shield succeeded in clearing Islamic State fighters from the border zone. 

The Syrian Kurds in Afrin insisted the Islamic State never had a presence in Afrin and still has none. In other regions, the Kurds drove the Islamic State fighters down to Raqqa.

Another addition to the Turkish list of justifications is refugees. The latest purpose of Operation Olive Branch is to prepare a safe zone for 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey to resettle in northern Syria. This is the humanitarian dimension of Olive Branch.

Analysis: Turkish strong man Erdoğan, could order the entire Turkish Army into Syria, accept that he'll loose 1/3 of his expensive German made tanks (or more) and tens of thousands of soldiers. But he doesn't want to do that because even with those losses, "winning" may not be the outcome. I expect that General Mattis is sitting back, eating popcorn, and watching the show.

If the Turks sent their entire army into Syria, the Syrians wouldn't sit on the sidelines. They'd have to do something about a general invasion and then their Russian allies...and so forth would be involved. 

A Few Issues

Trey Gowdy

On Transgenders in the military:

"Nobody has a 'right' to serve in the Military. Nobody. What makes people think the Military is an equal opportunity employer? Very far from it.

The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short. Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for missing or additional fingers. Poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth. Malnourished? Drug addiction? Bad back? Criminal history? Low IQ? Anxiety? Phobias? Hearing damage? Six arms? Hear voices in your head? Self-identify as a Unicorn? Need a special access ramp for your wheelchair? Can't run the required course in the required time? Can't do the required number of pushups? Not really a "morning person" and refuse to get out of bed before noon? All can be reasons for denial.

The Military has one job. War. Anything else is a distraction and a liability. Did someone just scream "That isn't Fair"? War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful. YOU change yourself to meet Military standards.. Not the other way around. I say again: You don't change the Military... you must change yourself. The Military doesn't need to accommodate anyone with special issues. The Military needs to Win Wars.

If any of your personal issues are a liability that detract from readiness or lethality... Thank you for applying and good luck in future endeavors. 

Who's next in line?"

Next?


American Ninja

It started out by being an unabashed fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now my grandson (right) is working his way though his white belt.

Belt color is clearly not the test of greatness in martial arts. 

There are two types of martial art studies. The first is by far the most common where the art and the pulled punches are practiced, affording dexterity, discipline, fitness and fun. If you work at it long enough, you might derive some benefit in a fight, but more likely you'll just get whipped worse by somebody who is not impressed by your pulled punch or ineffective kicks. (you should have run away but ninjutsu teaches you to stand your ground)

The second is the 'hard style' techniques found in most varieties where punches are not pulled the object is not defense, but striking your opponent first, crippling and killing and winning is the prize. It's not something that I recommend, but many military art forms (Russian style, Krav Maga, Shoto(kan), Tai Kwan Do [hard style]) push the more aggressive side of the discipline.

The young ninja in the photo is just learning enough technique so that he can drop his older brother and teach the bigger boy some respect (and possibly humility). We'll see where it goes from there.

In San Francisco

Anti-Trump activists are marching and joining the womyn's vagina movement with their mangina movement to oppose the President and all he stands for. Their primary complaint is that the President is unfit to lead because he is mentally unstable.

It's difficult to do much besides showing the photo of them (left) and let that speak for itself.

I would have thought that the entire San Francisco FBI Resident Agency would be marching -- ok, maybe they are... right there in the photo, wearing masks to disguise themselves. If you reflect on it, the photo makes a perfect recruiting poster for the FBI. It's incredibly progressive. The poster makes you want to run out and ask the agents how they like their federal jobs - opposing the MAGA movement.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), one of the wealthiest people in the US Congress, represents San Francisco. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) used to be the mayor of San Francisco. That should explain a great deal.

And more to the point (see right), California is trying to pass a law that would allow illegal aliens to vote, thus insuring the Democrat super majority.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The FBI's Secret Society

A "secret society" at the FBI that meets off-site, after normal working hours and plots the overthrow of the constitutionally elected government. A conspiracy to commit treason. There are documents to support it and Congress has an insider, a member, an informer in their midst who will testify. Overt actions were taken in furtherance of the conspiracy. 

It's not a Robert Ludlum novel or a Jim Curtis novel. It's the news.

And it's immediately repudiated by CNN and MSNBC. How far does the conspiracy go and who does it include?

The fake Mueller Probe, the fake dossier used to support surveillance (FISA) approval and electronic intercepts from the court, setting up Paul Manafort and General Flynn in interviews, FBI providing an "insurance policy" to get Hillary Clinton elected; wiretapping the Trump Campaign office and key members of his staff; working directly to undermine a duly elected President of the United States such that he would be removed from office through fraud and deception...and who knows what else we will learn?

18 U.S. Code § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government.
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or 
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or 
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof— 
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction. 
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction. 
As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.
Has DOJ empaneled a grand jury? 

Why not?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Operation Olive Branch


Many of this blog's readers have expressed special interest in the present campaign that the Turks have launched against the Syrian Kurds. This is your analysis.

The Turks call it Operation Olive Branch - the destruction and annihilation of Kurds in Western Syria. You'll recall that the murder of Kurds for fun and profit is and has been a key activity of Turkey. This is no different, except that the Kurds are better armed now. And that's creating a problem for the Turks.

Let's step back for a moment and identify the players.

FSA Logo
There are two Free Syrian Armies loose in Syria. One of them is comprised of former Syrian Army officers who want to depose Assad (FSA). The second is the Turkish-Backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA). It's ok if you're a bit confused because this is Syria and there are a lot of different factions, a lot of different funding sources for those factions, and the names sound either close or the same even though they represent radically different groups (and their sponsors, of course). There are different factions within the TFSA. All of them are opposed to the---

YPG Logo
Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Army (YPG), who were formed in Western Syria to keep the Kurds in that part of the land from being wiped out by either Turkey or Syria, both of which are at war with them - primarily because they're Kurds. YPG is allied with the PKK, who the Turks hate far more than ordinary Kurds. And rather than get lost in the weeds, we'll move on with the reason for this blog analysis.

Suffice that the Turkish-Backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) is a cat's paw of Turkey and consists of Turkish armed and trained Syrians (secretly led by Turkish officers in mufti), sent in to ferret out the Kurds and kill them so that main Turkish Army won't take losses and lose face when their tanks are blown up by American made anti-tank weapons.

On 22 January, the third day of the Operation, Turkish forces and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters opened a new front. They attacked Azaz, another town liberated by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) last year. The Turks claimed to have seized an important hilltop near Azaz on the 22d. Two hours later the Kurds claimed to have driven the Turkish-backed fighters off the hilltop, known as Mount Barsaya.

In the Afrin area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Syrian Kurds executed a counterattack against the YFSA and recaptured two border towns.

The SDF General Command told the media on 23 January that the Turkish Army has made no progress in three days. A spokesman said 13 civilians were killed and 23 injured. He also claimed 40 TFSA members were killed and 300 injured while 3 Turkish tanks were destroyed. 

The SOHR reported 54 killed, including 19 FSA fighters, 26 Kurdish fighters and 22 civilians.

Operation Olive Branch

The attack on Azaz is one of the four stages in Operation Olive Branch. The Turkish Foreign Minister indicated that the Operation will also include attacks on Kurdish towns east of the Euphrates River.

Turkish President Erdogan’s confidently stated expectation that this would be a quick operation has already been undermined by the Syrian Kurdish counterattack. The Turks apparently judged that the Kurds would be awed by Turkish military power. Instead, the initial indications are that the scenario of Operations Euphrates Shield is reprising itself.
Context and Precedence - In Operation Euphrates Shield (August 2016-March 2017), the Turkish-Backed Free Syrian Army fighters were supposed to prevent the SDF and the Syrian Kurds from crossing the Euphrates River and to drive them back if they did. The TFSA were outmatched by the SDF and the Kurds. Turkey was forced to commit special forces and armored units, supported by artillery along the border. They failed to accomplish the stated Turkish goals. 
One analytical center reported that the Turks lost a battalion of tanks – up top 45 -- during the eight-month operation. In March 2017, the Turks declared victory, ended the Operation and announced Operations Euphrates Sword would follow at a future date. Operation Olive Branch apparently is that follow-on operation.
The YPG Kurds have shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. There may be Turkish air losses soon. Many of the Turkish pilots, flying US made F-16's are American trained and they know what they're up against. Political cadres will be asking the pilots to fly, low, get in there, and provide close support to the vulnerable tanks. The pilots won't want to fly below about 20,000 feet, which limits their effectiveness against difficult to locate anti tank units among dismounted YPG infantry spread through the landscape. As has been stated previously, the only way at present for the Turks and their catspaws to do anything is to dismount their infantry and move against the Kurds without any support at all. When/if they do that, the Kurds will exact a punishing price and the Turks know that.

Politics
- The Syrian government has denounced the Turks but not shifted military forces. It might not need to, if the Kurds can halt the Turkish offensive.

- General (Saint James of Quantico) James Mattis, US Secretary of Defense, ever the diplomat, said the US recognizes that Turkey has legitimate security concerns... with a smile on his face. The Turks again criticized the US for arming the Kurds.

- Russia announced it is preparing relief supplies for refugees from Afrin.

- President Erdogan insisted on 22 January that the operation will continue and that Turkey has an agreement with Russia. The Turks obviously obtained President Putin assurance that Russia will stay on the sidelines of the Syrian Kurdistan operations. However, open sources reported no details of what Putin obtained in return. 
Russia looks to be the big gainer. It reinforced its developing relationship with Turkey without weakening its support for Syria or Iran. If the Turks succeed in creating a Kurdish-free corridor, the Damascus government will avoid negotiations with the Kurds over regional autonomy. In addition, the US will be embarrassed for failing to assist the Kurds and will have no justification for keeping forces in Syria in an open-ended commitment.
If the Turks fail, Syrian sovereignty will be reaffirmed, which is a primary Russian goal. Turkish relations with the US will become more strained. The Kurds will be weakened militarily, but ties with the US will remain strained. The Syrian opposition will have exposed its lack of loyalty to Syria in the face of Turkish aggression. 
- General Mattis praised Turkey for permitting continued use of Incirlik air base by US air forces. The Turks apparently threatened to terminate US use of Incirlik if the US interfered with Operation Olive Branch. 

- At some point, Turkey’s role in NATO would seem to deserve serious re-examination. Russian Minister of Defense General Shoigu affirmed to an audience in Hanoi on 23 January that “the contract for the delivery of the S-400 to the Turkish Republic, which is a NATO member,” has been signed recently.

Chelsea


Wants to be a US Senator...then run for President.

Poor little rich girl. The dynasty was written in the stars (by the stars in Hollywood) and the way was cleared by Slick Willy. Then Hillary stumbled - more than once - and you can read about her near victory in one of her books that also make excellent doorstops. What is in Chelsea's future? The runes say that she'll survive on her trust fund.

Monday, January 22, 2018

From Barack to the Turks and the Norks

What About Barack?

I know, the stock answer is, "who cares?" I have to agree with popular wisdom. At the same time, the man who presided over the dismal and near ruinous ObamaNation, with corrupt Hillary by his side trying to extract money from other nations to fund her personal ambitions -- is on the rubber chicken circuit.

You all know how the circuit works. Somebody pays Barack $100K to show up and bullshit for an hour or so. There's always an executive jet to haul him, possibly a catamite or two for his entertainment. He bad-mouths America (no switch from when he was president) and claims credit for the Trump Recovery which has put over six trillion in wealth/value into the nation through the stock market since Barack left office. 

The dismal, depressing, sad, grinding years of economic malaise are over and even President Trump's opponents are crediting him with the most remarkable economic turn-around in US history. And that presents a problem for the Democrat Party because they don't know what to run on. Tax cuts, bonuses from business to workers, pay raises and a booming economy is something that Barack is taking credit for, but nobody is buying it.

Take Two Afrins and Call me Tomorrow

The Turkish Army hasn't been able to make any headway against the Syrian Kurds who hold Afrin. 
(note that in the video, they hit the SECOND tank in the column to block the first Turkish Leopard tank from retreating...)
US made anti-tank weapons work remarkably well, the MANPADS (FIM 92 Stingers) keep Turkish jets at around 15,000 feet + and deny Turkish commanders on the ground close air support. American made artillery with radar guided counter-battery fire neutered the Turkish tube artillery. The Kurds abandoned the City of Afrin and really don't care if the Turks bomb the place. They took up a defense in depth and the only option the Turks have is to send infantry forward, unsupported. And what would it look like if Turkish front line dismounted infantry is destroyed by the Kurds?

Those of you who were concerned when the US invited the Turks to have at it need not worry. There was no reason for Americans to die in a cause like this when the Kurds are trained, armed, and are itching for a fight. CNN has a branch in Turkey called CNN-Turk that is very anti-Kurdish. Most of the news that comes out via CNN is propaganda. Big shocker there isn't it?

As things sit presently, the Turkish armor pulled back and the Turkish Air Force is flying sorties against the unoccupied city, lobbing in bombs, teaching the Kurds a lesson.

Thoughts on North Korea

It's still hard winter in North Korea and with dwindling food supplies, large contingents of the Nork Army have been turned loose on the peasant population to take whatever food they can find. If the army starves, they might mutiny, so Un finds this to be the only workable solution. I agree, it's that or the fat man could just eat himself to death.
North Korean officials desperate to feed Kim Jong Un’s hungry army are ransacking the homes of drought-stricken farmers to collect every last grain of food inside, according to a report that highlights rising tensions between the regime and the public. 
The raids come weeks after news surfaced that soldiers in Kim’s army are being given months off at a time to scrounge around fields to find food. 
"Officials carried out home searches in Paekam County to determine how much food some families had,” a North Korean source told Daily NK. “As an excuse to enter and demand bribes, they said to the residents, 'Are we just going to let our military starve while the Americans lick their lips and prepare to eat us alive?'”
When North Korean soldiers aren't marching or gardening to
feed themselves, they're out in the countryside, taking food
from peasants at the point of a bayonet. 
The Seoul-based website, which covers the Hermit Kingdom through a network of informants, published a photo last month purportedly showing North Korean soldiers rummaging through a corn field.

The reality is that many people starve to death or die of a combination of the cold winters and chronic malnutrition in North Korea. Peasants eating tree bark to try and survive is nothing new. If the Un regime suddenly caved, feeding the starving Norks and treating them for chronic illness would be a worldwide crisis. So long as the wall is up, the peasants will have to endure as they always do. The wall between North and South Korea works most of the time...

Monday Madness

Atlas is Shrugging

There is a species of insanity in Sacramento, California. The Democrats, furious that business will enjoy the benefit of a national cut in taxes paid by businesses, are working to loot the state even further in the name of 'social justice' (buying votes).
Calling the Trump administration’s tax reform plan a “middle-class tax increase,” two California lawmakers introduced a bill that would force large companies to fork over half of their expected savings to the state.

Image courtesy of LSP
Assemblymen Kevin McCarthy and Phil Ting, both Democrats, introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 22, which calls for a 10 percent surcharge on companies with a net earnings over $1 million. The plan could potentially raise billions for the state's social services programs. 
“It is unconscionable to force working families to pay the price for tax breaks and loopholes benefiting corporations and wealthy individuals,” Ting said in a statement, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “This bill will help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan on everyday Californians by protecting funding for education, affordable health care and other core priorities.” 
The Trump Aministration’s tax bill cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The administration contends that the lessened tax burden will stimulate the economy and help the U.S. stay competitive on a global scale.
Clearly, any business that nets over $1 million per year in California needs to be bled. It's Atlas Shrugged on a grand scale. Ayn Rand had it right. It's time for businesses to leave California and take the jobs they offer to other states. There is an imperiousness and a smug, sly calculus used by California Democrats. They feel that so long as they can lure welfare recipients from other states by paying 33% more and maintaining the illegal alien population, they can be re-elected forever. Naturally, all this is paid for by businesses and those who have jobs.

The Lovable and Predictable FBI

A new batch of FBI text messages quietly turned over to Congress on Friday revealed new information in the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails. It also came with a cover letter from FBI Director Chris Wray explaining that a lot of FBI text messages that were supposed to be preserved–have been lost.

Wow, they lost the secret e-mail that could get them indicted. That's shocking. It's just another technical error - like the deletion of 33,000 Clinton e-mails.

In previous text messages produced to the House of Representatives, FBI Investigative shot caller, Strzok and his mistress, FBI attorney Page discussed needing an “insurance policy” in the event Trump were to become president. The newest batch of text messages turned over on Friday show that in February of 2016, Page texted Strzok that then-candidate Trump “simply can not [sic] be president.”

Any neutral observer would have to be concerned about supposed missing evidence from a premier law enforcement and intel collection agency as well as the types of discussions and conflicts of interest apparently at issue with key officials within the FBI. It’s one more piece of a developing story that unfortunately points to alleged misconduct by some at top levels in our intelligence community. If the allegations bear out, it could have huge implications for a number of investigations handled by the officials in question over the past decade — not just cases related to the 2016 campaign.

Many of us, familiar with how the FBI routinely conducts business out of its headquarters, are not surprised.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Visit to the Mine


It was time for me to get off my rump and head off to the White Wolf Mine up on Arizona's Mogollon Rim (literally). Some people claim to be up on the rim and others are actually there. I was greeted by a dozen and one elk, hanging out, eating, and doing what elk do, now that mating season has passed.


The weather has been perfect but I did encounter some snow flurries and a dash of rain, which has been the first precipitation of the year. It's been a dry winter. 

Arizona gun control laws are among the least-restrictive in the United States. Arizona law states that any person 21 years or older, who is not a prohibited possessor, may carry a weapon openly or concealed without the need for a license. (A concealed carry permit is required in most other states.)

This means that as a progressive person, you're likely to be terrified because of the number of people around you who are strapped.  That's good. Progs can leave because it's a free country. May I suggest California?

Yes, I'm feeling my oats because I drive around AZ with Arizona license plates on my truck, sneering at California drivers.

The lower level (guest level) is coming right along in preparation for framing.


The top of the masonry creates support the floor of the main level of the structure. However the structure extends (below) far to the right of the lower level. The upper level (on concrete supports) also extends out over the landscape, creating an outdoor living are and a master bedroom with a really nice view.




Building on a slope creates a lot more requirements for masonry and engineering than building on the flats, but there are advantages (mostly aesthetic) to making this sort of choice when selecting a site.

Meanwhile, the new year means more work, more pressure to generate work and to produce meaningful results quite apart from the efforts in the high country to build a hovel.














Thursday, January 18, 2018

I'm Hostile?

This is brief commentary and a cautionary movie review.

Movie attendance is at a 24 year low. Hollywood films oooooze political correctness and nowhere is this more apparent than with the feature film, Hostiles. It would be nice if SOME  SMALL EFFORT was put into historical research before Hollywood embarked on its block busters. 

In order to make Hostiles even more politically correct, they manage to write in a negro soldier (The US Army was segregated in 1892) into the small band of US Army soldiers who are taking an old Indian from Texas (in Comanche territory) to Montana (a distance of 1568 miles). The old Indian is dying and the US Army wants to insure that he goes to the happy hunting grounds in a place of his choosing. 

1568 miles through HOSTILE land, and who does the Army send? Two officers, an NCO, two troopers and a negro private (Buffalo Soldier). Do they have a wagon with supplies? No. They do have the pissed off, but dying Indian to care for. The political correctness gets even more correct because everyone hates the land, hates where they are and what they're doing. They pick up people along the way including Rosamund Pike (yes, naturally a hot woman not a prairie hag).

Historically, sixteen years previously to the movie time period, the US Seventh Cavalry Regiment with 700 men were all but wiped out in Montana. Though many of the hostiles escaped into Canada, the land was not settled and six soldiers in the open, un-supplied with food and additional ammunition, with Indians still scalping and killing doesn't make for a metric of success. And all this to take a dying Indian to his burial ground?

I can tell you what would happen. Once out of sight of the fort, the soldiers would have killed the old Indian, rolled him into a gully and put some cut brush on the carcass. Then they would have either taken the "big bounce" (deserted) which was common in that timeframe, or would have holed up somewhere for a week or two and would have returned with the sad news that the chief died prematurely. So sad. 

Movie Rating on the LL scale, 1 out of a possible 10. Because the premise of the movie is completely STUPID. But it's politically very correct.

Keep in mind that I am deplorable and now I'm possibly also hostile.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Observations

Chelsea

If Maryland Democrats don't support the convicted national security felon and traitor, they're transphobic. How could a Democrat in all conscience vote to return Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) (an older white male) to the US Senate when they have a (technically white male - but) tranny option?

Who says that politics isn't fun?

Is there anyone on the planet who thinks that Barack Obama would have pardoned Bradley Manning if he wasn't a tranny? He'd be turning big rocks into little rocks at Leavenworth.

Naturally, Chelsea would be even more politically correct if he/it/she self-identified as a negro. I'm sure that's coming.

Another Dose of Afrin?

News services reported on 16 January the movement of Turkish commando units to the Syrian border. Other military units moving to the border include a convoy of at least 40 armored vehicles and additional troops.

The BBC judged that the movements are related to reports that an operation into Kurdish-held Afrin is "imminent". "Armored vehicles and commandos which were initially brought to Reyhanli and Hassa districts were then forwarded to the military units on the border," NTV website said.

Hurriyet posted to its web site 21 images which showed military equipment, including tanks, and buses carrying soldiers to the region.

Military vehicles, including tanks and armed vehicles, were loaded on trucks and transferred to the border province of Hatay from the southeastern province of Sirnak, Hurriyet reported on 16 January.

"Hawk missiles stationed in the Kirikhan district of Hatay, near the border, were also directed towards Afrin, the newspaper had said.

President Erdogan has threatened the Afrin offensive so often it would be easy to dismiss his latest threat as more rhetorical posturing. Three events that were reported in the past 24 hours indicate attack preparations are in progress. 

The first is the continuing reinforcement of the border the day after President Erdogan stated his latest threat. This is not necessarily diagnostic of Turkey’s specific intentions, but the buildup confirms Turkey’s general intentions and is necessary for an attack.

The more diagnostic indicator is the movement of troops from Sirnak to Hatay. This is a high cost, in-theater redeployment from the Iraqi border, almost the length of the Turkish border, to Hatay, which is on the Mediterranean Sea coast. It is not a routine move because forces experienced in fighting the Islamic State and the Turkish Kurds (PKK) are being shifted to a new operating area.

Finally, the statement that Hawk air defense missiles have been reoriented towards Afrin could be highly diagnostic, assuming it means that a part of the integrated air defense system has been refocused. The Hawks were oriented to defend against Russian aircraft. 

The Kurds in Afrin are on their own. Two separate US military spokespersons told the press on 16 January that the US mandate to defeat the Islamic State does not extend to assisting the Syrian Kurds in Afrin Canton. 

Press sources estimated that the Canton contains between 8,000 and 10,000 members of the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG). The size of the Turkish and Turkish-backed proxy forces is not known

The two American disavowals look and sound like official US green lights for Turkey to do what it wants against Afrin. The timing of the announcements in the context of Turkey’s threats and force buildup support the inference that the Turkish government has decided to attack Afrin Canton soon. The Turks have reassurance that the US will not stand in the way. 

Turkish uncertainty about the US reaction to a Turkish-directed operation against Afrin has been a significant deterrent. It explains President Erdogan’s many threats as probes to clarify US intentions. He now knows them.

A small Russian force went to Afrin last summer to deter Turkey from conducting offensive operations. We have received no update on the status of that monitoring unit. Russia has made no comments on Erdogan’s threats. We judge the Turks would not continue openly redeploying forces if the leadership lacked Russian assurances of non-intervention.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Korean Unification (under Un)

The only fat man in North Korea has changed his approach but not his goal. The shrill, nasty, elite, smug, sly mainstream media is not picking up on it because they'd have to give President Trump credit for suggesting to Kim Jong Un that he'd be melted early in a war between the US and North Korea.

On 15 January, in the second session of working-level talks, North Korea agreed to send a 140-member orchestra to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The North's Samjiyon Orchestra will hold concerts in Seoul and Gangneung, 240 kilometers east of the capital, Seoul's unification ministry said after the talks. Gangneung will host ice sports during the Winter Games.

"The two sides plan to discuss details including the venue, stage conditions and other matters through consultations," a joint statement said. "In this regard, the North will send an advanced team at an early date."

The two sides agreed that the Koreans would march as one team in the opening ceremonies and that the Korean unification flag would be carried. 
The Winter Olympics are scheduled for 9 to 25 February. The next round of working-level talks will take place on Wednesday, 17 January.
The wording of the press announcement about the visit by the orchestra suggests North Korea agreed to a South Korean request. Other reporting indicates that South Korea had prepared an agenda concerning the Winter Olympics. North Korea took over the agenda.

The working-level talks have not yet discussed the North’s requirement that it send an art troupe and, possibly, the all-female Moranbong Band, which was created as a communist modern pop group by Kim Jong Un in 2012.

The orchestra, band and art troupe have no connection with the Winter Olympics, but strongly support Kim Jong Un’s reunification theme. The messages are:

- North Korea is not hostile and poses no threat to South Koreans; 
- North Korea has refined taste and achievements in music, dance, art and sports; and,
-The South Korean government has misinformed its people about North Korea. 

Last week, North Korean media blasted South Korean President Moon for crediting the US President for North Korea’s opening to the South.

An opposition member of the South Korean National Assembly warned that North Korea is manipulating the Olympics to build popular support for reunification among South Koreans and weaken support for the South Korean government. 

Thus far, Kim Jong Un’s Winter Olympics scheme is emerging as the most effective North Korean perception management campaign to appeal to the South Korean populace in more than a generation.